Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Friday, April 14, 2017

* * *

THE ANIMAL SHELTER’S SPRING ADOPTION event is doing well. In less than three days, 17 dogs have been adopted or transferred and everyone at the Shelter is pleased to have their crowding reduced.

* * *


Isai Sanchez was found Not Guilty of filming under a woman’s skirt in WalMart, the day after a presidential election that, by inauguration day, had mobilized millions of indignant women to march in hats knitted to rebuke the newly elected President Trump for his unprintable groping maxim; which is to say it was perhaps more than a coincidence that the vic in this case was perhaps a mite too preconditioned to jump to conclusions when Mr. Sanchez crouched down to grab a box (not a Tony The Tiger, but a generic brand) of frosted flakes cereal off the bottom shelf, while Ms. Goates stood nearby contemplating a display of granola bars, in the Breakfast Aisle.

It was a time when men were cowering before the collective indignation of a gender wroth over glass ceilings and deplorable sexist pigs, throughout the nation, and in one memorable piece of footage of the protests, one sad little fellow (who by now has no doubt undergone a sex change) held a placard apologizing for his gender – which until recently was considered an accident of birth no one need be sorry for – and Mr. Sanchez was perhaps unaware of this dimension of the political climate due, perhaps, to his own concerns that deportations were soon to become sweeping, and though he’d been in Ukiah for over 15 years, his new wife had only been in the country for a little over a year.

When on the stand, Sanchez explained that he’d been in an accident in Mexico, where it was not against the law to ride in the bed of a pickup, and the one he was riding in had been in a crash with a drunk driver, resulting in a serious back injury. He said he crouched down to reach for the box of cereal, and had his hand with the iPhone in it outstretched to keep his balance, and had filmed Ms. Goates’ legs inadvertently; his camera having been left on from an earlier use of it to film the placement of some books and movies in an adjacent aisle.

Sanchez works for Anderson Merchandizing, and it is his job to stock shelves in WalMart with books and movies. Much of his work is done with his iPhone, he explained, and he uses it to clock in and out of work, to show how the shelves looked before and after he restocks them, and other applications also apply, so his camera is going most of the time and it is not uncommon to have people’s legs and other parts of their anatomy show up in the recordings. On this day, he had finished his work and was going to grab a box of frosted flakes for his wife, since he was already at the store, and had neglected to turn off the camera before doing so. He said he wasn’t even aware it was on.

The jury – half men and half women, mostly older people, although the foreperson was a younger man, and a Mexican American – believed Sanchez and came back after a long deliberation at around two o’clock the following afternoon with the not guilty verdict. Sanchez was greatly relieved and Ms. Goates left the courtroom in a flurry of indignation and renewed tears the moment the verdict was read.

Mr. Pitchford – who I half expected to belly-bump his client victoriously – merely patted his client reassuringly on the shoulder, while Deputy DA Morimune stood like a deacon with his head bowed and hands folded, as though in prayer.

Visiting Judge Douglas Mewhinny thanked the jury profusely and graciously for their service and released them from his injunctions not to discuss the trial with anyone, and further gave them permission to accept any book or movie contracts that may come their way in regards to such dramatic trial.

* * *

LITTLE DOG SAYS, “I don't need much. I got my igloo in the bad weather and they take me inside at night, not that inside is all that great, what with all the political moaning these people do. ‘Trump this, Trump that.’ I kinda like Trump. He reminds me of this Afghan Hound babe I used to go out with.”

* * *

MSP ASKS THE LOGICAL QUESTION: Shouldn't they have thought of this before it opened?

“Caltrans will install business logo signs along the Willits bypass in May, according to City Planner Dusty Duley." — The Willits News

* * *


Supes April 17 Agenda Item 5a: “Discussion and Possible Action Including Introduction and Waive Reading of an Ordinance Adding Chapter 9.30 to the Mendocino County Code Regulating the Cultivation of Recreational Marijuana Pursuant to Proposition 64 and Amending Chapter 9.31 Regarding Medical Marijuana Cultivation (Sponsor: County Counsel)


On April 4, 2017, the Board of Supervisors (“Board”) adopted Ordinance No. 4381, adding Chapters 10A.17 and 20.242 to the County Code, which adopted a new medical marijuana cultivation regulation system. While the County was drafting this new ordinance the voters of California approved Proposition 64, which legalized the use of marijuana for those over 21 years of age and, among other things, legalized cultivation of not more than six (6) marijuana plants for personal use.

The County’s existing Chapter 9.31 and then-proposed Chapters 10A.17 and 20.242 only regulated cultivation of medical marijuana, not adult use marijuana. Staff proposed development of an ordinance that would apply the County’s medical marijuana cultivation regulations to adult use marijuana cultivation as well. Staff received direction from the Board, on February 14, 2017, and March 27, 2017, to prepare an ordinance regulating the cultivation of marijuana allowed by California Proposition 64 (“adult use marijuana”). …


* * *


Supes April 17 Agenda Item 5d: Discussion and Possible Approval of the Appointment of Scott Taubold as Temporary Help to Fulfill Critically Needed Duties after His Retirement, Pursuant to Government Code (GC) 7522.56 (Sponsor: Health and Human Services Agency)

Summary Of Request: In accordance with Government Code (GC) Section 7522.56, Health and Human Services Agency, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services would like to hire Scott Taubold as temporary extra help ($30.83 per hour flat) to fulfill critical conservatorship investigation duties, including assessment of individuals referred for Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) conservatorship to determine if grave disability criteria is met and conservatorship renewal evaluations and documentation (see attached letter).

GC 7522.56 (f) allows the County to rehire a retired employee prior to the 180-day waiting period if the following conditions have been met: The employer certifies the nature of the employment and that the appointment is necessary to fill a critically needed position before the 180 days have passed, and the appointment has been approved by the governing body of the employer in a public meeting. The appointment may not be placed on a consent calendar.

Source of Funding: Realignment, Medi-Cal, & Mental Health Services Act

Current F/Y Cost: $7,000

Annual Recurring Cost: $29,500

* * *

A BIG UC DAVIS REVIEW agrees with Grand Jury: CPS (aka Family & Children’s Services) “is in a state of crisis.”


 “Mendocino County’s Family and Children’s Services is in a state of crisis, and has been for several years. Despite this prolonged crisis state, there is still no unified vision among leadership, staff, the Board of Supervisors, and community partners about how to address the factors that perpetuate the crisis. Suggestions from one segment of the organization are frequently met with resistance by the others, and key decision-makers are consistently in conflict about where to begin addressing the agency’s challenges.”

Full report and County CPS/FCS response:

AVA Summary of County Response: We’re no worse than anyone else; We need more money and staff and training and supervision to “enhance permanency practices” by “behavioral-based case plan language… safety mapping … evidence-based visitation … permanency roundtables … align data outcomes with contract deliverables with community providers … identify trends of substantiations, demographics, etc. …”

TRANSLATION: The “crisis” will continue indefinitely.

* * *


Thursday, April 13, 2017. 11:30 AM. Phone Message:

“Hi, my name is Kellee Bradley. I'm the public relations manager for John L. Scott real estate in Seattle, Washington. I'm just a little bit flummoxed (laughs) — an article came up in my Google Alerts today from your paper in California of all places. It talks about art. And how we sponsor a room at the Seattle Art Museum. And then it accuses us of, of basically plundering art. And this article is by a man named David Yearsley. And it's called Artists of Empire. I don't know why he singled us out. We do have a couple of galleries at the art museum. His quote, ‘John L. Scott is a real estate giant which has devastated much of the Puget Sound and continues to play a leading role in suburbanizing what little is left of it.’ It's kind of defaming and there is no reality in what he is saying. I'm wondering if — I just want to get some clarification from you guys to make sure that you really understand what it's saying. I just want to be clear that you do understand that he is throwing darts at us and he has no basis. We are a small regional real estate company in the Puget Sound area. But our founder was a patron of the arts and he sponsored a couple of galleries and art museums. Anyway, if you could call me back. My name is Kellee Bradley. My phone number is 425 210 7677. And before I send this off to our legal department I just wanted to make sure you guys were aware of and give you the benefit of the doubt and perhaps ask you not to defame us. Thank you.”


* * *

I THOUGHT I heard on Cowboy Cal's radio show this morning that the Hispanic population of Fort Bragg was "between 35 and 40 percent." Seemed wayyyyy too high so, checking around, the true figure seems be about 20-30% (depending on whose numbers you use. (The 2016 census for Boonville says we're about half Hispanic.)

THE ENTIRE IMMIGRATION discussion seems stuck between the Build The Wall people and the Deport No One brigades. I find it hard to believe that anyone, even the most benighted sectors of the Deplorables, take the Wall fantasy seriously, and it seems almost but not quite as starry-eyed of the Sanctuary City types not to address the obvious fact that more than a few people ought to be deported. We don't need Trump to tell us we have our share of bad hombres right here in Mendocino County. They appear every day in Catch of the Day — the wife beaters, the petty crooks, the dope sellers.

THE SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT alerts Immigration to the bad guys housed at the County Jail, but from there it's up to Immigration whether or not to pick them up for deportation. That seems like a sensible policy to me. The Nobody Gets Deported stance seems as nuts as the Wall.

THE NEW ELECTRONIC MEDIA makes the spread of misinformation a lot easier. It's clear just from my crude investigations in the Anderson Valley — talking with the immigrants I see regularly — that they now factor FEAR into their daily lives, a fear of course shared by their children, a fear spread by tweets and Facebook. From time to time, mini-panics occur when someone, sometimes as a joke, says La Migra is grabbing people at local markets or at random off the streets. (The black jump suits La Migra togs out in were obviously designed by some closeted goose stepper.)

AT THIS POINT in our accelerated history, it's not possible to know how far Orange Man will take his bluster, but it's bad enough that it has already caused the widespread anxiety it has among the many decent, hardworking people who are as rooted in our communities as the rest of us are.

* * *


Re: “Scandal of the Week” (April 12, 2017),

There seems to be a good deal of cross-contamination in the psycho-social sewer and water systems flowing from Lake to Mendocino and back, to wit: the references to “one of Kenny Rogers’ series of incompetent attorneys” and “probation of adult division manager Kevin Kelley” pique my curiosity enough to beg your indulgence of these questions — 1) how long has this drainage operation (of low-class attorneys and administrative spawn from the lofty climes of Lake County) been going on in the lawyerly/judicial/administrative realm? And 2) is this guy Kelley perchance related to the former head of Lake County’s Mental Health Department, Kristy Kelley?

(A long-time county services observer commented recently that Lake’s Kelley (not much loved here, and a few years gone from the local department) is married to a midling official in Mendo — the position cited and the surname spelling prompt my second question.)

In regard to the first question, the revelation of Mendo’s new Chief Probation Officer’s marital status adds further emotive burden to Mr. Markham’s impassioned endorsement of his staff/co-operator of the Lake County Public Defender’s contracted service, selected by the Lake County Board of Supervisors against the recommendation of the Lake County Chief Administrative Officer (who strongly preferred the services of someone out of Shasta County, as I recall). Mr. Markham’s successful appeal to the Lake BOS can be seen on the video recording, if you’re in the mood for a sugar substitute:

(Item 8.2, right on the top left under the black box, just click on the item and the recording will jump to that moment in the recording).

Poor David, begging for the lowest-hanging fruit in the loony bin, and the lead public defender for our favorite arsonist, the clod who allegedly started the Clayton Fire last year.

And now his suddenly former razzle-dazzler embarrasses us all with further flamboyance in flagrante delicto! Tsk.

P.S. David’s dad, Jeff, was the lead investigator on the case of Lake County’s short-lived independent Community Action Agency (circa 2010) embezzlement and subsequent financial collapse; a decision was made somewhere along the line that the case would not be prosecuted — we think because there were two county Supervisors actively participating in the CAA board of directors at the time, for whom public embarrassment would be injurious to their fat salaries. The CAA was handed back to NCO, and no records are available to document what financial management and federal/state CAA compliance measures occurred. A local healthcare district had to eat the loss of $70K, and no one went to jail or had to pay restitution for the loss of public funds; NCO run by the three monkey system, see you in the funny papers.

(Lake County)

* * *

ED NOTE: In Mendocino County, no one is ever fired, no one ever held accountable, at least in the higher pay grades and, factoring in the mass amnesia peculiar to the county, history starts all over again every morning and you are whatever you say you are, no questions asked. Mendocino County's Probation Department seems erotically mesmerized, but their on-the-job boffathons are not unusual in public employment, what with the ladies often provocatively dressed and slathered in come hither scents, well, it's a wonder any of the public's work gets done.

* * *


Dear Editor,

I was no more than a couple hours into my first visit to Low Gap Jail when I heard my first scare story about Orell Massey. The Mendo underworld is rife with tales of his exploits and I developed an image of something between a legendary hero and the bogeyman. Thank you for a fine and illuminating interview and the opportunity to get to know Orell Massey, the man.

Flynn Washburne


* * *

* * *


March 7, 2003

by Jim Gibbons

I first heard about the WalMart shootout on the morning news, then read about it in the local newspapers. An ex-con with a long history of violence triggered a parking lot shootout at Ukiah’s WalMart Friday night that left one police officer wounded, a security guard stabbed, and the shooter dead.

Neal Allen Beckman, 35, confronted Ukiah Police Sergeant Marcus Young Friday night after Beckman’s girlfriend was arrested for shoplifting. As officer Young and the girlfriend sat in Young’s patrol car, Beckman approached with his hands in his coat pockets. Young ordered him to take his hands out of his pockets, which he did, but in one hand he had a big knife and the other a .38 Smith and Wesson.

Beckman continued to walk toward Young, firing five rounds at point blank range, hitting Young in the cheek, neck, shoulder and hand. Young was also hit in the chest, but his bulletproof vest no doubt saved his life.

The real hero of the day was 17-year-old police cadet Julian Covella, a Ukiah High School junior who ran from cover and out into the open to come to Young’s aid. Young, bleeding profusely while kneeling helplessly on the parking lot pavement, couldn’t draw his gun from the holster because one of the bullets paralyzed his shooting hand. Covella pulled the gun out of Young’s holster and placed it in his other hand.

Officer Young then fired three or four shots toward Beckman, who was trying to remove the loaded shotgun locked in Young’s patrol car rack.

Meanwhile, Beckman’s girlfriend was handcuffed in the backseat screaming bloody murder.

“Neal was hit in the head with one of the first shots,” she explained, “But he wasn’t dead, just shaking convulsively. He was about a foot from me. There was blood everywhere.”

When I first heard the name Neal Beckman it rang a bell, taking me back some twenty years to my teaching days in the Willits Unified School District. Beckman, Neal Beckman, I kept saying to myself. I knew he had been a student of mine, but I couldn’t picture him, or remember which school it was. So I did the math in my head. If he was 35, then twenty years ago, he was 15, so that would have been 1983 when I taught at San Hedrin, the continuation high school.

Needless to say, teaching and residing in a small town means you see your students and ex-students quite often, and occasionally read their exploits in The Willits News. None that I recall got scholarships to Stanford or Harvard, but over the years I have recognized a few names in the weekly Police Log.

There was a photo of him in the newspaper, but twenty years can change one’s appearance. The photo showed a balding guy covered in tattoos. His most prominent tats were the devil horns on his forehead.

Neal Beckman

I decided to call my old friend Ed Schuman, who taught both at the high school and with me at San Hedrin. I asked him if we had a Neal Beckman at San Hedrin, and he chuckled, “Yeah, you took his gun away.”

Then it all came back to me. It was 1983, out on the playground. Besides teaching English and a journalism class, where we put out The San Hedrin High Times, I taught PE. We usually played volleyball, basketball, or kicked the hacky-sack around. I even had a running class for a while.

Anyhow, one day Beckman, a young-looking 15-year old with long blond hair, barely over five feet tall, showed up at the end of PE class. I acknowledged him and he walked up to me with a smile and pulled a pistol out of his jacket. Not in a menacing manner, but more like he was proud of it and wanted to share this fun show-and-tell toy with his teacher.

I said, “Neal, you can’t bring a gun to school! Let me see that,” and he gladly handed it to me. I’m not a gun guy, so I don’t recall what kind it was other than a decent-sized pistol. I asked him if it was loaded, and he smiled, as if to say, ‘Duh, I don’t carry a gun if it’s not loaded.’

I told him I’d have to keep it until after school, then I would give it back. He agreed. (Just for the record, I really wasn’t planning to give it back, I just said that.) I consulted with the other teachers, and the next thing poor Beckman knew he was handcuffed and in the back of a Willits Police car. When the cops drove away, Beckman was said to have a big smile on his face.

Two years later I read that he and an accomplice knocked on the door of a local Willits resident, saying their car broke down and asked to use his phone. According to the victim’s son-in-law, “they stabbed him four times in the back, and when he was on the ground they kicked every rib in his ribcage and beat him over the head with a cane.”

During the trial the man died in the hospital, so they stopped the trial and were going to prosecute for murder, but he was just 17, so instead of trying him as an adult, they put him in a juvenile facility until he was 25.

“My wife and I kept going down to the parole board to stop him from getting out, and they did keep him until he was 25,” the son-in-law explained in a 2003 interview in The Ukiah Daily Journal, “but then they said, ‘Well, we kept him as long as we can’.”

The son-in-law added, “I’m glad they got him, though the whole thing could have been avoided if they had just done their job 18 years ago.”

POSTSCRIPT: If you can’t imagine what it would be like to have your 18-year-old daughter bring home a 35-year-old ex-con boyfriend with devil horn tats on his forehead and a .38 in his pocket, I recommend reading Monica’s Walk on the Wild Side, an article by Bruce Anderson, editor of the weekly Anderson Valley Advertiser, in his and Mark Scaramella’s 2009 book, Mendocino Noir, a Collection of Crimes Large and Small.

* * *

Monica's Walk On The Wild Side

by Bruce Anderson

He was Clyde, but she was no Bonnie.

Monica Winnie was 18 when she met Neal Beckman. Beckman, a Willits boy, was 35, an outlaw, just home from the state pen.

"He always stood up for me, and he was always nice to me," Monica would say. "And he was exciting."

No one will ever say Neal Beckman wasn’t exciting. Excitement and an old fashioned gallantry seem to have been his sole virtues.

Monica also knew her new boyfriend had been to prison, and she'd heard him say he wasn't going back, although she knew he was doing things likely to get him sent back.

But there he was, and there was something about Neal that drew Monica to him. He'd be there for her, which was more than she could say for her previous boyfriend, the "All-American Mr. Clean" who'd dumped her when he thought she was pregnant.

Jeff and Patty Winnie, Monica's unwitting parents, didn't know what to make of their daughter's new boyfriend, but they soon learned that their little girl had brought home a two-strike felon with a history of violent crimes all the way back to his early teens. Monica Winnie is pretty; she's intelligent; she's conventionally ambitious; and she's blessed with a kind of effervescent good humor that draws people to her. The incongruity of her and the late Mr. Beckman as a couple is as startling as, say, Patty Hearst's youthful interlude as a revolutionary.

"He was a little guy, shorter than me even," Monica remembers. “He looked the same age as me, but he was real strong. He could pick me up, and everyone was afraid of him. I'd known him before when I had another boyfriend. Back then, when I was 17, Neal was kind of stalking me and threatening to kill me and stuff if I didn’t go with him. Then my other boyfriend suddenly just left me when I really needed him and there was Neal."

Whose Cro-Magnon courtship tactics won him the girl he wanted, and chalk up another one for love's mysterious ways.

Monica briefly tears up when she thinks back. She's still beguiled by the guy.

"You know," a veteran prosecutor explains, "there are a lot of women who go for guys like Beckman. Or versions of Beckman. I don't get it, but it's common. These babes you see on the back of Harleys? If you polled them probably half are lawyers and college professors."

The cops had been watching Monica because they were watching Beckman. Anybody seen with Beckman became a bad person by association. The cops were sure that Monica was shoplifting and doing other things for Beckman that would eventually land her in jail.

"Beckman was a very scary guy," a long-time Sheriff's Department deputy said recently. "We were always very much aware of Mr. Beckman. I'm not surprised he did what he did."

Monica was surprised, though. Very surprised. So were her parents. Mr. and Mrs. Winnie had been persuaded to let Beckman stay with them until he found a place of his own, but after just twenty-four hours with their houseguest Mr. and Mrs. Winnie wanted Neal to find another place to live.

“He had those devil horn tatoos on his forehead, and he just looked at us when we tried to talk to him,” Monica’s dad Jeff Winnie recalls. “I wanted him out of the house.”

Beckman finally agreed to go on the last Saturday night of his life.

As they headed to the Ukiah motel Beckman said was his new home, Mrs. Winnie and Monica stopped at WalMart. Mrs. Winnie wanted do a quick round of shopping before off-loading the true love of her daughter’s life.

"Neal had everything he owned in a duffel bag," Mrs. Winnie recalls. "I wanted to get a few things at WalMart and so did he." It was about 9pm when Patty Winnie, Monica and Beckman arrived at the Ukiah WalMart. Out of the hearing of Mrs. Winnie, Beckman had instructed Monica to take the receipt from his prior purchase of WalMart duffel bags, snag a package of identical bags from their shelf inside the store and exchange the ones off the shelf for the $29 shown on his old receipt. Mrs. Winnie had assumed Neal and Monica were going to wait for in her car.

As soon as Mrs. Winnie was out of sight, Monica jumped out of her mom's car and entered the store through its garden section door. Beckman walked into the store through the front door where he soon met Monica at the duffel bag shelf to commence their $29 scam. Beckman handed Monica a package of bags identical to his previous purchase and told her to go up front and exchange them for cash. Mr. B explained to Monica that he needed a few more bucks for his motel room rent. He'd spent most of the Social Security Insurance check he received every month for having been declared an "anti-social personality type" — too mean to work, apparently. Beckman had persuaded one of Mendocino County's uniquely gullible shrinks to qualify him as permanently disabled. He spent most of his monthly government support checks on methamphetamine.

A WalMart security guard instantly figured out that Neal and Monica were attempting to run a scam often seen in Ukiah's retail stores. Monica was detained as she walked out of the store with the 29 bucks. WalMart called the Ukiah Police to come and get her.

A popular, long-time Ukiah cop by the name of Marcus Young soon appeared. Sgt. Young was accompanied by a 17-year-old student cadet named Julian Covella.

Monica takes it from here.

"Neal handed me the bags off the shelf. I took them and the receipt up to the return counter where they gave me the money. I was almost outside when Carolyn Schott, a WalMart security guard, stopped me. I didn't know it then but her husband is also a security guard at the store. He was the man who Neal stabbed. Anyway, Carolyn Schott and some other WalMart people took me into the back of the store to wait for the Ukiah police. Marcus Young showed up. He took some notes, read me my rights, put me in handcuffs. He was very nice to me. All the cops were nice to me that night. I didn't know where Neal was. He disappeared after he got me the bags off the shelf.

"So Marcus Young put me in the backseat of his car, which was right next to my mom's car, right in front of the store. I was sitting there handcuffed behind my back when Neal came walking up. He sat down on the hood of my mom's car, right next to where I sat in the cop car. Officer Young told Neal to get off the car and come over to him because another security guard had pointed Neal out as being in on the thing with me. They knew Neal was with me.

"Neal started right off asking Young, 'What did I do? What did I do?' I could hear them talking, face-to-face — that close. Young asked Neal if he had any weapons. Neal said, 'Yeah. I have a knife.' Neal stuck his hand into his jacket and Young grabbed his arm. Next thing I knew Neal had a gun and was shooting it straight at Officer Young, and then they all fell down on the pavement and were wrestling around. The security guard and Young were trying to get Neal's arms, but it looked like Neal was too strong for them. Officer Young kept saying, 'Watch out for the knife. Get the knife!'

"Neal had already shot Marcus Young. Then Neal started stabbing the security guard (Schott). I didn't see the stabbing, but the security guard went down, too. Neal got up and ran to the police car. He didn't say anything to me until he got shot, then he said, 'I got shot in the head, babe. I'm dead.' He kept saying that. His body was shaking.

"I ducked down after Neal got shot, and he kind of slumped over in the front seat. I thought he was just ducking down, too, when Officer Young started shooting at him. I didn't know Neal had been shot until he told me he'd been shot."

Sgt. Young had been hit in his right shoulder, thus paralyzing his shooting hand. His protective vest had saved him certain death from Beckman's point-blank pistol fire. Beckman had emptied his gun at the cop, knocking him to the pavement,

Beckman then began a savage, repeated stabbing of WalMart security man, Schott. Schott went down as Beckman leaped into the front seat of Sgt. Young's cop car where he struggled to free the shotgun secured to the rear of the front seat.

Young, struggling to regain his feet, his right side disabled by the bullet to his shoulder, couldn't get his gun out of his holster. The police cadet, 17-year-old Covella, freed Young's pistol from its holster, handed it to the dazed officer who then emptied it at Beckman, hitting Beckman in the head with one of the first rounds. Sgt. Young then collapsed onto the pavement.

Monica, gunfire exploding all around her, lay terrified only inches from the dying Beckman.

"Neal," Monica continued, "was in the police car for a long time, shaking. He was about a foot from me. He was still shaking after they pulled him out of the police car. They really jerked him out of there. It looked like they dislocated his arm, they jerked him so hard. They put him face down and put handcuffs on him, and he was still shaking. Convulsing. There was blood everywhere, but he wasn't dead. Officer Young was looking straight up at me while the paramedics worked on him. They moved me to another squad car. I watched them give Neal resuscitation, but I think he died on the way to the hospital."

Monica's dad, Jeff Winnie, was asleep when the phone rang and he learned the news that would keep him wide awake for what seemed like the rest of the week.

“I couldn’t believe it, but when I thought about it for a while I really wasn’t surprised. He was a mean, crazy little bastard. One night when we all went out to dinner, the guy acted like a complete punk. He tried to start a fight with some guy he said was looking at Monica, and all he talked about was how much he liked drugs. This guy was going to be our son-in-law? He had to go."

He went, alright, but the Winnies hadn’t heard the last of him. Beckman was dead, but when the police discovered five "explosive devices" in the Winnie family car, the police thought they might have have a whole family of bomb throwers. A task force soon appeared at the Winnie home in the hills southwest of Willits, and Monica and her dad were both booked into the Mendocino County Jail on charges related to possession of bomb making materials. Dad soon bailed out, and all charges against him were dropped. The bomb stuff belonged to Beckman.

Charges against Monica were not dropped. They included a bomb charge, and two burglaries. Despite her repeated denials that she had no idea that Neal Beckman had either a gun or five unarmed pipe bombs, Neal was dead and Monica was alive. And Neal had shot a cop. Monica had been with the man who shot the cop, so…

So, at a minimum, she needed to be scared straight.

"Needless to say," begins Monica's beset mother, "the night it all happened, well, it was like a nightmare. I still can't believe it. Monica has no criminal history. She's a nice kid. She's still in school, she has goals, she has hopes. I was just about to drop this guy off at a motel after we stopped at WalMart. Monica and I were headed home to Willits — we thought. It all happened very fast. I was just coming out of the store. I'd already been told Monica had been arrested for shoplifting, and I was very unhappy about that. I figured Neal was involved somehow, and was looking forward to getting him away from all of us. So, I'm walking towards my car with Mike, a WalMart guy, when it all happens right in front of me.

"I couldn't see Neal's face, but he seemed nice and calm and cool. He had on black pants, jacket, and cap. He was walking towards Officer Young in that chicken walk that the hood guys use. He was walking like a hoodlum, a cocky guy. I wondered what the heck he was doing. He walked right up to Officer Young and Officer Young says, 'I need to speak to you.' Neal starts in, 'What'd I do?' Both hands were in his pockets. Officer Young didn't say anything derogatory to him. All he said was, 'Sir, please remove your hands from your pockets.' Neal said, 'What do you want me for? What'd I do?'

"I blinked, and next thing I knew Officer Young had his left hand up in front of him. I didn't actually see the gun. I saw the muzzle flash. I saw Officer Young get hit in the stomach. The next shot looked like it hit him square in the face. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! I started dialing 911. I heard a couple more shots. I thought Officer Young was dead right there! Officer Young had hold of Neal's arm. Then Officer Young fell on him or pushed him up on the hood of my car. He was on top of him when Neal fired the second shot that looked like

it hit Young right in the face. p"I really felt like the 911 operator was stupid. She asked a lot of stupid questions, although I'd made it clear that a policeman had just been shot. I was trying to tell her an officer was dead and she hung up on me! Maybe a minute later, I started hearing all kinds of sirens.

The paramedics worked on Young and Schott, the WalMart security guy. for 30-45 minutes.

"Neal was in the police car where he'd been shot, shaking. Not actually dead. He was laying on the seat and twitching. Two officers came up to him while he was still twitching, pulled him out of the car, slammed him down on the pavement and handcuffed him. He laid there for 5-10 minutes until an EMT came over to Neal to work on him. They put him in the ambulance and took him away.

"That Friday night all I'd done was stop at WalMart, and the next thing I know my daughter's boyfriend is shooting a cop on top of my car! And a week later my daughter is being talked about by John Walsh on America's Most Wanted! These three men said on national television that Neal Beckman made no attempt to free Monica. That he just climbed in the front seat of the police car with my daughter in the back seat to get more guns. If they were this Bonnie and Clyde team, why didn't Neal open the back door and let Monica go so she could help him shoot people? Instead, he climbed in the police car to get more guns where Officer Young, God bless him, did what he did. But as Bonnie and Clyde? No way. It's a miracle she wasn't hit with all the bullets flying around. But if Neal had got hold of that automatic weapon in the police car… God!"

Monica says her lethal adventure at WalMart has cured her of exciting guys. She says she wants to finish school and pursue a career working with autistic children, a goal she adopted after spending long hours with the autistic child of a relative. She hopes her plans have only been temporarily derailed.

The DA's skepticism about the degree of Monica's knowledge of her boyfriend's weapons is understandable. From law enforcement's perspective Monica had been hanging out with crooks for more than a year and had to have been aware that Beckman was involved in criminal activity. Her arrest, even if it's based on extremely tenuous particulars, is probably the best thing that could have happened to her.

Monica seems to agree.

"I don't want to go to prison. I don't like jail. And I think everything that happened that night was horrible. It's not me."

Monica got time served in the Mendocino County Jail plus five years of felony probation.

Nobody wanted to see her in prison. Everyone likes her, everyone is pulling for her.

* * *

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, April 13, 2017

Hurst, Little, Marteeny

ALEC HURST, Fort Bragg. DUI-drugs.

JOSEPH LITTLE, Fort Bragg. Under influence, vandalism, competency status, county parole violation, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer.)

ELLE MARTEENY, Navarro. Vehicle theft, probation revocation.

Quadrio, Roberts, Sandhu

ERIC QUADRIO, Ukiah. Failure to appear.

CHERRI ROBERTS, Ukiah. Drunk in public.

AMANDEEP SANDHU, Hopland. DUI, concealed weapon.

Sisson, Tuttle, Vaughn, Williams

ARNOLD SISSON, Covelo. Vehicle theft.

ALESHIA TUTTLE, Willits. Defrauding innkeeper, probation revocation.

SEQUOYAH VAUGHN, Ukiah. Drunk in public, probation revocation.

JARRETT WILLIAMS, Lakeport/Ukiah. Burglary.

* * *


by Ralph Nader

As a society obsessed by money, we pay a gigantic price for not educating high school and college students about money and banking. The ways of the giant global banks – both commercial and investment operations – are as mysterious as they are damaging to the people. Big banks use the Federal Reserve to maximize their influence and profits. The federal Freedom of Information Act provides an exemption for matters that are “contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions.” This exemption allows financial institutions to wallow in secrecy. Financial institutions are so influential in Congress that Senator Durbin (D, IL) says “[The banks] frankly own this place.”

Although anti-union, giant financial institutions have significant influence over the investments of worker pension funds. Their certainty of being bailed out because they are seen as “too big to fail” harms the competitiveness of smaller, community banks and allows the big bankers to take bigger risks with “other people’s money,” as Justice Brandeis put it.

These big banks are so pervasive in their reach that even unions and progressive media, such as The Nation magazine and Democracy Now have their accounts with JP Morgan Chase.

The government allows banks to have concentrated power. Taxpayers and Consumers are charged excessive fees and paid paltry interest rates on savings. The bonds of municipalities are are also hit with staggering fees and public assets like highways and public drinking water systems are corporatized by Goldman Sachs and other privatizers with sweetheart multi-decade leases.

Then there are the immense taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street, such as those in 2008-2009 after the financial industry’s recklessness and crimes brought down the economy, cost workers 8 million jobs, and shredded the pension and mutual fund savings of the American people.

Standing like a beacon of stability, responsiveness and profitability is the 98 year-old, state-owned Bank of North Dakota (BND). As reported by Ellen Brown, prolific author and founder of the Public Banking Institute (Santa Clarita, California), “The BND has had record profits for the last 12 years” (avoiding the Wall Street crash) “each year outperforming the last. In 2015 it reported $130.7 million in earnings, total assets of $7.4 billion, capital of $749 million, and a return on investment of a whopping 18.1 percent. Its lending portfolio grew by $486 million, a 12.7 percent increase, with growth in all four of its areas of concentration: agriculture, business, residential and student loans…”

North Dakota’s economy is depressed because of the sharp drop in oil prices. So the BND moved to help. Again, Ellen Brown:

“In 2015, it introduced new infrastructure programs to improve access to medical facilities, remodel or construct new schools, and build new road and water infrastructure. The Farm Financial Stability Loan was introduced to assist farmers affected by low commodity prices or below-average crop production. The BND also helped fund 300 new businesses.”

All this is in a state with half the population of Phoenix or Philadelphia.

A California coalition is forming to establish a state-owned bank for California. Coalition organizers say a California State Bank will cut the state’s long-term financing costs in half, compared to what avaricious Wall Street is charging. The nation’s largest state (equivalent to the world’s sixth largest economy) can free itself from massive debt accumulation, bid-rigging, deceptive interest-rate swaps and capital appreciation bonds at 300% interest over time.

What assets does the state have to make this bank fully operational? California has surplus funds which total about $600 billion, including those in a Pooled Money Investment account managed by the State Treasurer that contains $54 billion earning less than 1 percent interest.

Money in these funds is earmarked for specific expenditure purposes, but they can be invested – in a new state bank. To escape from a Wall Street that is, in Brown’s words “sucking massive sums in interest, fees and interest rate swap payments out of California and into offshore tax havens,” a state bank can use its impressive credit power to develop infrastructure in California.

Huge state pension funds and other state funds can provide the deposits. Each one billion dollar capital investment can lend $10 billion for projects less expensively and under open stable banking control by California. Presently, California and other states routinely deposit hundreds of billions of dollars in Wall Street banks at minimal interest, turn around and borrow for infrastructure construction and repair from the Wall Street bond market at much higher interest and fees.

This is a ridiculous form of debt peonage, a lesson Governor Jerry Brown has yet to learn. He and other officials similarly uninformed about how the state of California can be its own banker should visit and read Ellen Brown’s book, The Public Bank Solution.

Legislation for public banks is being pursued in the states of Washington, Michigan, Arizona and New Jersey, as well as the cities of Philadelphia and Santa Fe. Look for county commissioners and state treasurers to come on board when they see the enormous safeguards and savings that can be secured through “public banks” in contrast to the convoluted casino run by unaccountable Wall Street gamblers and speculators.

A longtime backer of public banking, retired entrepreneur Richard Mazess, hopes that national civic groups like Public Citizen, Common Cause, People for the American Way and Consumer Watchdog can get behind the proposal. “Public, not private, infrastructure is essential for an equitable economy,” he says.

California already has a public infrastructure bank called the IBank. Mr. Mazess and others believe that expanding the existing IBank into a depository institution would be more likely to pass through the California legislature. The deposits would come from public institutions, and NGOs (not from private persons). These pension funds and other public deposits would become reserves and serve as the basis for safely leveraged loans to public projects at a conservative tenfold multiplier. No derivatives or other shenanigans allowed.

Before that proposal can be enacted, however, there needs to be much more education of state legislators and the public at large.

Such enlightenment would illuminate the enormous savings, along with the restoration of state sovereignty from the absentee, exploitative grip of an unrepentant, speculating, profiteering Wall Street that believes it can always go to Washington, DC for its taxpayer bailouts.

(Ralph Nader is a consumer advocate, lawyer and author of Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!)

* * *


(Photo by Susie de Castro)

* * *


All of the concern of the moral horror in Syria by Hassad reminds me what Gore Vidal said, that Americans prefer a moral issue instead of a real issue.

What bothered me was the amount of talk show types who loved to see them Tomahawks go flying out. A certain part of America has never met an airstrike they didn’t like.

‘It’s showing the world America is strong again!’ One guy said on the radio. ‘We’ve got the best technology in the world, the best weapons, and we wiped out that base. Every missile hit its target.’

(No, they didn’t). I guess this is the Tom Clancy contingent, and you got to hand it to Tom…he knew his audience.

‘And our sailors firing the missiles…God bless ’em.’

Yeah…’we don’t want to fight, but by jingo if we do…’

I remember a short story I wrote some years ago where a farmer lives in a world made by hand, and the president, on the run, crashes on his property. Seems like America has no more economy or oil because it got ruined in a war with Russia. The farmer is angry. ‘Invading Russia was a pretty goddamned stupid thing to do.’ The president admits he had faulty advice.

I only hope I’m not being a prophet.

Meanwhile, since we drifted to Moon landings, United Airlines overbooked a flight, and in order to get four UA employees to the final destination, passengers were yanked off the flight, including one Chinese doctor who had to be dragged out, crying he had patients waiting for him.

I mean, cops dragging this poor SOB down the aisle.

James Kunstler has said a lot about the decline of travel, and here’s a real example of us collapsing into soup. The stupid, fucking airline overbooks as a standard policy, then collars passengers who’ve already paid, and why can’t the idiot executives who make this policy wonder why UA might have a PR problem?

They propose to gave those bumped 800 dollars in travel benefits…I say nothing but cold, hard cash. I hope that doc sues them for a mint.

It’s an example why I never fly. The service is crappy, planes are crowded, delayed (and you want to experience madness, imagine being cramped on a runway for two hours), and you have to face security like you’re a mouse and they’re the cats.

It just is insulting and disgusting to see this guy hauled away.

It’s only a sample of what corporate America thinks of us.

You get the idea no one is in charge anymore.

* * *


MCOE Hosts Regional Earthquake Preparedness Training

Mendocino, CA – The Mendocino County Office of Education (MCOE) recently hosted a day-long seminar for dozens of education professionals responsible for emergency preparedness in Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma Counties at their facility in Ukiah. The seminar was simultaneously video conferenced to Fort Bragg High School allowing people from the coast to participate without driving to Ukiah.

Participants learned how to create well-organized, highly effective school emergency operations plans, or how to update their existing plans to meet new federal standards.

Director of Maintenance and Operations Stephen Turner said, “Student safety is our first priority. By evaluating their sites and planning a response to each possible hazard, such as an earthquake, our school staffs reassure the communities that their students are in the best possible hands during an emergency.”

MCOE conducts annual communications drills with school districts and also hosts countywide training on various aspects of safety and emergency preparedness and response.

Education professionals from around the county listen to Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools speaker on March 30 at the Mendocino County Office of Education.

Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools Warren Galletti thanks local education professionals for attending the emergency preparedness training.

* * *


Wed., April 19, 12:30-2PM

Veterans Memorial Building, FB

Congressman Jared Huffman has cosponsored HR676 Single Payer Health. Coast “Occupy people” as well as many others will come to his Town Hall and push him on this and other possible hot issues and invite anyone else interested in health as well.  Register Below And Get A Ticket For Congressman Jared Huffman’s TownHall: 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM, Fort Bragg Veterans Memorial Building, 360 N. Harrison Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437. FYI: Congressman Huffman co-sponsors H.R. 676 - the single payer health bill.

Bring a large paper pink heart with HR676 on it with your thank you note to wave for the cameras:}


* * *


Letters to the Editor:

God is in control. God introduced the Seven Feasts of Israel as the children of Israel were encamped at Mount Sinai. In the 23rd chapter of Leviticus, God instructed children of Israel that there are "Feasts of the Lord" to observe on certain days. The first 3 feasts, Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits, occur in rapid succession in the spring of the year in Nisan over a period of several days. These three came to be referred to collectively as "Passover." These seven feasts were to demonstrate Jesus as savior for the world.

The first is the 14th of Nisan, the day of Passover. In 30 A.D., on Nisan 14, Jesus was nailed to the cross at the time of the morning sacrifice at 9 AM. At noon, the sun became darkened and there was darkness over the face of Jerusalem for three hours and then at the time of the evening sacrifice Jesus yielded up his sacrifice. He said, "Father it is finished, into thy hands I commit my spirit." Not having committed sin, he yielded his life as a sacrifice for us by dying at the exact moment of the evening sacrifice.

His death, burial and resurrection fulfilled the three feasts of Passover. The next of the seven feasts is Pentecost where the Holy Spirit shall come to you, the tomorrow after seven Sabbaths, or 50 days. If Jesus were to currently speak to you, He could identify Himself by saying, "I rose up so that the Holy Spirit could come down." Who sent the Holy Spirit? Jesus did. Jesus fulfilled the feast of Pentecost on its exact date, in full accordance with the plan of God.

The fifth Feast is the feast of trumpets when you shall have a feast of the blowing of trumpets, a meeting in the air. Since Jesus fulfilled each of the first four feasts on their exact date many Bible scholars believe that it is likely that Jesus will fulfill the next feast on the exact day of the Feast of Trumpets. At sundown in Jerusalem when the ram’s horn is sounded for Rosh Hashanah in whatever year, the Lord himself will shout from heaven to come up here. The dead in Christ shall rise first followed by the living.

Yours Truly,

Robert Dahlquist

Orange, California

* * *

* * *


There is no heaven.

There is no Messiah.

Jesus was the invention of Caesar.

Jesus was a fiction.

The Romans directed the writing of Titus Flavius Josephus.

The Romans directed the writing of the New Testament Gospels.

The Roman purpose was to create a "peaceful Messiah"

to serve as an alter ego

to the Zealots and Sicarii

who fiercely fought

against Roman occupation in Judea

throughout three wars --

three bitter Roman-Jewish wars

which included the siege

and mass suicide at Masada.

The Zealots and Sicarri

hated Roman occupation

so much

they massacred

Roman women and children

to prevent

the spread of Roman generational rule.


Are you no more than remembered light

in the fog of war?

Are you the pillars of clouds on our border with Syria

disappearing in the sky?

Are you the bird of ill omen suspended in flight?

After we tell our war stories and the stories of our war crimes,

is it your name we sing at the end?


You forgive the unforgivable.

You forgive all who ask for forgiveness.

You teach there is no sin that is unforgivable.

Had the Jewish Wars and Jewish Antiquities not invented

you and agape love,

we would have invented you --

we, the zealots and Idumeans throughout history,

we, the eminent citizens,

we, the seventy judges, who acquit the guilty,

and bring the verdict against the innocent.

— John Sakowicz, Easter, 2017

* * *


by Manuel Vicent

Translated by Louis S. Bedrock

During any melancholy evening, no child with a vivid imagination, lying face down in bed with an open atlas, has hesitated to sail through every blue sea with the tip of his index finger, or advance with reckless abandon deep into the most dangerous jungle. With his mind filled with pirate ships, treasure chests, lions, and the tusks of elephants, there comes a moment in which the child detains his finger over some point on the map — the most exotic place possible, and thinks: “One day, when I’m older, I will go there.”

Some manage to realize this dream; however, only one was named Joseph Conrad.

This boy was not the son of a Polish count, nor was his aunt a Belgian princess, nor was he, at a tender age, presented to the Emperor Franz Joseph during a private meeting at Hofburg Imperial Palace in Vienna. The early years of this writer, whose baptized name was Jázef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski, are enveloped in aristocratic fantasies that he either fomented or didn’t bother to deny. Thus, he wandered through the port of Marseilles or the docks of the Thames with his hands in his pockets like a rootless youth trying to sign on to the first ship that would carry him to the seas of the South.

He came from the cold, from a country of mist. Joseph Conrad was born on December 3, 1857 in Berdichev, a territory of the Ukraine, 220 kilometers southeast of Kiev. At that time, Poland only had an ethnic and linguistic identity: politically it did not exist — it was a territory subjected to the yoke of Russia.

His ancestors were people who wanted to free the country and for that reason, they joined up with Napoleon’s army in the advance party moving toward Moscow; in this same spirit, Conrad’s father Apollo later fought with the revolutionary left, was captured, tried, and condemned to exile -- rough strokes of fate that soon left the future writer without a mother or a father.

Twelve-year old Joseph Conrad was left under the guardianship of his maternal uncle Tadeusz. This methodical and pragmatic man could not reign in the dreams of his nephew, a visionary adolescent who heard urgent voices in his neck during the convulsion of epileptic attacks which told him to run away. On an October day in 1871, he got on a train at the station and following a vague plan, he did not stop running until he arrived at Marseilles.

He was 18 years old.

With this flight in the pursuit of a dream, he abandoned his country, his religion, and his family. His entire past was replaced by the sea.

In the port city of Marseilles, there are enough bastards to fill an entire life with emotions, but Conrad was only waiting for a ship in which he could go far away. While waiting for this wish to be fulfilled, he devoted himself to winding up shipwrecked in whorehouses and gambling dens through his own efforts--sometimes winding up broke, other times holding on to the trunk of a prostitute or of a naked friend as if it were a piece of driftwood in the middle of the ocean.

When he felt lost amid his own disorder, he sent distress signals to Uncle Tadeusz who would come to his rescue with remissions of money accompanied with a lot of advice.

After three years of foundering on land, he managed to embark as a passenger on the ship Mont-Blanc which carried him to Martinique. The moist heat, the cries of the parrots, and the palette of different tropical skin tones filled the void of his lost country and at that moment his adventures began.

At the time of embarkation, sailors fall into two groups: those who are distressed because they are leaving their wives, children, friends, and sedentary pleasures; and those who go aboard happily because they are freeing themselves from debts, quarrels, and false proclamations of love by putting an ocean in between for a long time. Joseph Conrad belonged to this second group of sailors. On land, he was a creature struggling to survive; however, at sea he became a hardworking, rigorous, free man.

On returning from his first crossing to the Antilles, while waiting to sign on to another ship, he was once again consumed by debts and had to grab a revolver and shoot himself in the chest to gallantly resolve the problem.

The bullet passed very close to his heart but did not want to kill him.

Successive voyages to the West Indies in other ships transformed him from a passenger to apprentice navigator involved in rum trafficking and arms smuggling. Later, he carried coal to Constantinople and wool to Australia.

“If I have to be a sailor, I want to be an English sailor,” he promised himself in the hospital where he was recovering from his wound. After passing through the ranks, he realized his desire and as a First Officer in the British Merchant Marine he sailed the seas of China and New Zealand; he incorporated into his spirit the names Sumatra, Borneo, and the Gulf of Bengal; he penetrated into the heart of Africa along the Congo River.

During every voyage, he shared his life with heroes and heartless rogues, whom he would later convert first hand into characters of his novels. He had become a British citizen in 1886 and was a sailor for eight years, but after his back was broken by a blow from the boom, he abandoned the sea, began wearing dark suits, donned a bowler, and became a gentleman. At that moment, he stepped out of his own shadow.

On land, suffering from gout, he took a wife, Jessie Emmoline George, had two children, Borys Leo and John Alexander, and began to write stories of the sea in the English he had studied and revered; an English that vibrated in his being with the same force as the shanks of the ships he piloted when he was a captain.

Conrad converted the sea into morality. Expiation and remorse after an act of cowardice in Lord Jim; serenity before misfortune and the thirst for power in Nostromo; the constant mutation of passions echoing changes in the waves in The Nigger of the Narcissus; the penetration into the depths of human misery in The Heart of Darkness. A writer measures himself before the sea. In this sense, Conrad didn’t produce one foolish page nor did he allow himself to capsize.

It was different on land.

Amid the international fame that his books bestowed upon him, Conrad had to struggle with his own debts and those of his son Borys, with the sickness of his wife, with the jealousy of an old man in love with a very young woman, with a ruined body propped up in an arm chair in his residence at Oswalds, which was not far from Canterbury. He was dependent upon the assistance of his literary agent Pinker like one holding on to the mainmast during a large terrestrial storm.

He died of a heart attack on August 3, 1924 at the age of 67. Upon his tomb are engraved these words of Spenser:

Sleep after toil, port after stormy seas,

Ease after war, death after life does greatly please.

* * *

THE KLAMATH'S SALMON DISASTER: Why it happened, who's responsible and what's needed now


It is in response to press releases and PR based media reports that misrepresent the reasons why there is a Klamath Salmon Disaster this year and why families which depend on Klamath Salmon will suffer for at least the next three years, including the corruption of science in implementing the ESA. I hope you will read it and that it will be of help to you in producing the well informed and discriminating reporting on Klamath River issues that is needed.

Felice Pace

Klamath, CA 95548


* * *


Route 1 (6.2/7.3) PG&E has been granted a Caltrans Encroachment Permit for utility repairs from Haven Neck Drive to Old Stageroad Drive on Wednesday, April 19. One-way traffic control will be in effect from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Motorists should anticipate 5-minute delays

Route 1 (103.4/105.0) - Emergency slide removal near Leggett will continue. A full road closure is in effect 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Motorists should seek an alternate route.

Route 20 (4.1) PG&E has been granted a Caltrans Encroachment Permit for utility repairs about 0.7 mile east of Wildwood Campground through Friday, April 14. One-way traffic control will be in effect from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. Motorists should anticipate 5-minute delays.

Route 20 (35.6/37.3) - Bridge deck repairs at the East Fork Russian River Bridge will continue. One-way traffic control will be in effect overnight from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays. Motorists should anticipate 25-minute delays.

Route 101 (4.5/5.0) - Routine maintenance near Frog Woman Rock will continue. Northbound traffic will be restricted to one lane 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Motorists should anticipate minor traffic slowdowns.

Route 101 (42.3) - Emergency slide repairs on the westbound Route 20 to southbound Route 101 connector ramp will continue. Intermittent ramp closures will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Motorists should anticipate 10-minute delays.

Route 101 (85.9/86.1) - Emergency slide removal near Hermitage Vista Point will continue. Northbound traffic will be reduced to one lane 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays. Motorists should anticipate minor traffic slowdowns.

Route 101 (97.1) - Emergency slide removal near the Dora Creek Bridge will continue. One-way traffic control will be in effect 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Motorists should anticipate 20-minute delays.

Route 101 (103.8/105.4) - Emergency slide removal near Piercy will continue. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in both directions 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Motorists should anticipate minor traffic slowdowns.

Route 128 (36.6/41.3) - Roadway repairs from Fish Rock Road to Yorkville will continue. One-way traffic control will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Motorists should anticipate 5-minute delays.

Route 162 (16.2) - Emergency storm damage repairs near The Middle Way will continue. One-way traffic control with temporary stop signs will be in effect 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Motorists should anticipate 5-minute delays.

Route 175 (5.9, 8.9) - Emergency storm damage repairs 2.0 miles and 5.0 east of Buckman Drive will continue. One-way traffic control will be in effect 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Motorists should anticipate 10-minute delays at each location.

Route 253 (0.0/17.2) Emergency roadway repairs from Booneville [sic] to Ukiah will continue. One-way traffic control will be in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Motorists should anticipate 10-minute delays.

(Caltrans wishes to advise motorists to drive with caution when approaching work areas and to be prepared to stop at traffic control stations.)

* * *


Hi everyone,Broadband Update

Since our next Alliance Public Outreach meeting isn't until May 5th <> and there is a lot happening, I wanted to provide an update on a few issues.

  1. The Broadband Working Group has our draft Broadband Goals <> out for endorsements/comments, and I will be taking these Goals to city council meetings in May if you want to find out more. The schedule so far is: Ukiah City Council - May 5th; Fort Bragg - May 8th, and Willits May 10th. The document is posted on the website, and if your business/organization would like to endorse these goals <>, I welcome you to do so. You can print out the form, write on it, scan and email back to me, or email me and I can send you a Word version.
  2. In the on-going PUC proceeding to which we are a party, yesterday Mendocino County submitted "reply comments <>" to comments submitted to the scoping memo for Phase 2 of the proceeding, which includes public safety outage reporting standards. I am keeping all relevant documents posted on the website under the sub-menu "PUC proceeding <>" (under Menu "In the News." It's kind of interesting reading...
  3. There is a survey as part of this PUC proceeding, and if you have had any telephone problems, please complete this simply 8 question survey <>. This data is important for the proceeding and for getting a good outcome. Share this survey link with friends.
  4. There is legislation being worked on currently that will re-authorize the state broadband infrastructure grant program. Here's a link to a Sacramento Bee article <>. We are hopeful this legislation will pass and also will have the needed language/provisions to make this program work for providers in Mendocino County.
  5. Congressman Huffman is hosting a town hall meeting in Fort Bragg on April 19th at 1 pm at the Veteran's Hall. Attend and let him know rural areas need more broadband (although he is currently a great advocate).

Thanks, and don't forget to learn more about Digital Security (and more!) from Joe's blog site - Crossing the Digital Divide <>.

New articles are posted every week, and if you would like Joe to address a specific topic, please let me know and I will pass your request to him.

Trish Steel




  1. George Hollister April 14, 2017

    “THE ENTIRE IMMIGRATION discussion seems stuck between the Build The Wall people and the Deport No One brigades. I find it hard to believe that anyone, even the most benighted sectors of the Deplorables, take the Wall fantasy seriously, and it seems almost but not quite as starry-eyed of the Sanctuary City types not to address the obvious fact that more than a few people ought to be deported. We don’t need Trump to tell us we have our share of bad hombres right here in Mendocino County. They appear every day in Catch of the Day — the wife beaters, the petty crooks, the dope sellers.”

    Good assessment. Immigrants are viewed, as an entirety, as either angels or devils. Of course they are neither. They are as all people are, some good, some not so good, and some bad. Adding to this is the bi-partisan opposition to immigration reform in Congress.

    In 2007, when the US had the last best chance to fix the immigration problem, theoretically, immigration reform should have passed through Congress. The Republican President supported it, the Democratic Party House passed reform, but in the Democratic controlled Senate 1/3 of Democrats voted to block reform. One of those voting to block a vote on reform was, Independent, Bernie Sanders. He did not like the guest worker program, and thought non-working Americans should be doing farm labor. Harry Reid sat on his hands and let the reform bill die.

    During President Obama’s first term, Democrats had the House, and 60 votes in the Senate. An immigration reform bill was never introduced. And not because “we did not have time”, but because there were not enough Democratic Party votes in the Senate to prevent the bill from be blocked again. So instead, immigration reform became a partisan political football.

    The reality here is, the way things are today, Congress is years away from fixing the immigration system. Too many, in both parties, oppose any fix. And the two views that all immigrants are either angels, or devils will continue to be the dominant and opposing themes.

  2. Jim Updegraff April 14, 2017

    Giants: another loss, this one by Bumgarner 3-1. a lackluster performance.
    A’s: lost.3-1 record now 5-5
    Giants now 4-7 and is the cellar team.

  3. Jim Updegraff April 14, 2017

    i note Nader is now on the bandwagon for a public bank. Never going to happen. Nader spends his life tilting at windmills, he really ought to throw in the towel.

    • LouisBedrock April 14, 2017

      I agree with Susie de Castro.
      Who cares about baseball?

      I’d prefer to hear your opinion about the environment, U.S. imperialism, or even religion, although you and I disagree about many aspects of it.

      You can accuse Nader, the Berrigans, Chomsky, Rachel Carson, and Jill Stein—among many others, of being “Quixotic” if you wish. I’m grateful for their existence.

      Nader has probably accomplished more for American citizens than any other public figure. His legacy is Public Citizen, which still carries on the good fight.

      • Stephen Rosenthal April 14, 2017

        I care about baseball and so do George Hollister and Bruce Anderson. I’m quite certain many other AVA readers do too. Keep it up Jim, but I’m sure we’ll be called all sorts of names by Mr. Bedrock now that we’re exposed for what we are, to wit, Baseball fans!

        Btw Jim, on the surface it was a lackluster performance but the Giants did make a lot of hard contact. Unfortunately they didn’t hit ’em where they ain’t, as Wee Willie Keeler once said. I read somewhere that the Giants are the most shifted-against team in baseball. Which means they’re predictable. Which means Bruce A. is correct about Bruce B. Would it kill Belt to learn to bunt down the third base line, thus guaranteeing a hit? I know he’s being paid to drive in runs (although his power numbers are nothing but “potential” – season high RBI is 82), but for the number of close games the Giants play every runner counts. I’m sure the pitchers would agree with me.

        • LouisBedrock April 14, 2017

          Et tu, Rosenthal?

          • Stephen Rosenthal April 14, 2017


      • BB Grace April 14, 2017

        Oh gosh. When I came to Mendocino my family became the members of the Fort Bragg Grange #672. I live very close to the Hall waited tables about 5 years before I was eliminated, as many “conservatives” were eliminated. But before the Guild, which I met as a Coast Economic Localization Link, that I invited to MY Grange because what the folks at CELL were saying, what they claimed they wanted to do, we were doing. The old “conservative” Grangers had one hell of a system. It was a diamond mine of experience and know how. What to grow, when to plant, where to hunt or fish, and special people, wonderful people with insights to wild animals and foraging and history.. all fascinating.. and very special to me because the Grange is what brought me together with my nuclear family.. it’s like we finally connected in a BIG way, and they all died.. so much death the past 7 years.. and I don’t see any end in sight being my friends are older than Mr. Updegraff.

        Julia Angelo, Carmen Beck, Eleanor Campbell, Carol Ann Woosley, taught me how to man up. I built my food forest, chopped wood, became a carpenter, mechanic, learned to pull ticks off, and can handle a shovel better than most men, THANK YOU LADIES! I was so beloved to have Verna Hayter, Marie Koskela (Happy 95th!), Ela Pierce and many more wonderful strong good women teach me … Marialyce Canclini, Betty Lathem, Tudee Christianson.. I LOVE and have LOVED these women,, so many more I can name that I met and they made a man out of me, that’s a fact. And why I say “Ohh gosh” when you ask about AVA being Grumpy Old Men… I guess in a way I am one, eh?

  4. LouisBedrock April 14, 2017

    As one of them, I must agree.

  5. LouisBedrock April 14, 2017

    Fun Facts About Baseball

    1. How many ballparks are named for corporations or banks?
    2. What’s the average MLB salary?
    3. How many times must baseball fans stand for a patriotic song during each game?


    3. At least twice in many ballparks: Once for The Star Spangled Banner and again in the seventh inning for God Bless America. Occasionally more than twice when they are obliged to stand for our troops who are defending American imperialism in every corner of the world.

    Screw major league baseball. Admission prices now exclude most fans. New ballparks are subsidized by tax payers while public school systems are starved. These new “parks” all feature little hotel rooms so the rich can watch the game in air-conditioned suites while being served microbrews and hors d’oeuvres—or occasionally, as in Toronto, whores d’oeuvres; expensive wines, sumptuous meals, valet parking–but don’t worry about the cost: It can be written off as a business expense.

    Want to watch it on TV? Fine—enjoy all the commercials for the army, air force, and marine corps.

    Like everything else in this country, baseball has been polluted by corporate culture and post 9-11 nationalism.

    • Jeff Costello April 14, 2017

      I sort of liked baseball as a kid. But Louis, you are correct in saying it’s force-fed patriotism now. Not sure when God Bless America and the military flyovers started, but to me it was a painful pinch that woke me up.

  6. Jim Updegraff April 14, 2017

    Louis: I haven’t forgot about my other causes. I just have fired off a Letter to the Editor about the bleaching and death of the Great Barrier Reef. Also,there was an article in the Guardian today about accelerating melting of the Greenland ice. As for religion. Ryan and his crowd who profess to be Christians are throwing many of the needy under the bus. Ryan and his motley crew do not have a clue as to what Jesus was about.

  7. Joe Hansen April 23, 2017

    Let’s not get into innuendo about who David Markham is or was related to. That’s called guilt by association. As far as that guy from Shasta is concerned who wanted the Lake public defender contract, his plan was to cut staff by over 40% while maintaining the same contract price. Sound like a cash cow? The Lake Supes saw that which is why they unanimously rejected his bid and approved Markham’s.

    No, David Markham is an excellent attorney and on the short list to replace Judge Martin who is retiring.

    Kenny Rogers has only himself and his hubris to blame for his present predicament, because if he taken the judge’s offer of three years at half (18 mos actual) he would have put this behind him long ago. Yes, Alan Simon was a loathsome effete snob, a stereotype of gentrification, but that did not justify Kenny’s trying to kill him.

    The evidence against Rogers was overwhelming and Markham did the best he could. For a more detailed discussion of this you can look at the Court of Appeal’s decision upholding his convuction which is available to be viewed in the case file at the courthouse in Ukiah.

    • Mark Scaramella April 23, 2017

      Sorry, but I’ve seen Markham at work in the Rogers case. His failure to ask ordinary and reasonable follow up questions to the ridiculous statements made by the Peacock Bros showed not only a jaw-dropping level of incompetence, but also a serious lack of preparation. And that’s’ not innuendo. So yeah, sure, he’d make a great judge. (PS. Lake County will seriously miss Rick Martin who is the exact opposite of the above description.) The only reason Rogers is in jail now is that the late Ron Brown (himself a marginal attorney and judge as demonstrated by the Laiwa case alone) refused to accept the plea deal that had been worked out and agreed to by Stoen himself. (Rogers didn’t reject it, Brown did.) When the case went to trial Tim Stoen told me himself that his strategy had very little to do with evidence (that’s why he agreed to the plea deal), but with getting the jury to associate Rogers with the very slimy Peacock bros. It worked. I’m not defending Rogers, he seemed very suspicious and he may well have said something that the Peacocks took as encouragement to shoot at Mr. Simon (which was never proven, btw), but the (rejected) plea deal would have been the appropriate outcome, not what Rogers ended up with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *